Paper-free travel extended
When my wife and I went to Suzhou (half an hour from Shanghai by train) over the weekend, we were surprised to find that we could, for the first time, swipe our way into the train station with a mobile app — a latest signal of paper-free travel in the Yangtze River Delta region.
Xinhua news agency reported last week that the delta region has now formally bid farewell to paper tickets for travel on high-speed trains arriving at or passing through its turf. In addition to a mobile app, one can swipe his or her ID card to get into and out of a train station. If one needs a certificate for reimbursement, he or she can have an electronic ticket printed out on an automatic machine or at a service window at a railway station.
We’ve been using our ID cards for paper-free travels for quite some time, to be sure, but until Saturday, we still had to print a paper ticket or scrutinize a wall screen to get our gate information. This time, however, all information available on a paper ticket, including that about our boarding gate, popped up on our phones.
Several billion trips are made by train in China every year. Suppose one day all will use electronic tickets only, how much paper and trees will we save?
Suppose one day all can reimburse their travel expenses with electronic certificates, how much more will we save to make this planet a better place to live?